All Asian stock markets have opened the day in the red. Stock markets in Japan (down 1.4%), China (down 0.9%) and Hong Kong (down 1.1%) are leading the pack of losers. Indian stock markets have also started the day in the red. Stocks from the capital goods, FMCG and metal space are leading the losses. However, realty stocks are trading flat.
The BSE-Sensex is trading lower by around 163 points (0.8%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 46 points (0.8%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading weak with both the BSE Midcap index and BSE Small cap index down by 0.2% each. The rupee is trading at 44.60 to the US dollar.
Oil and gas stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with RIL and GAIL trading weak, while IOC, HPCL and BPCL are trading firm. State-owned oil marketing companies (OMCs) are planning to raise petrol prices soon after the state polls ends. Petrol prices could be raised by Rs 3 per litre some time around mid-May 2011.
After petrol prices were deregulated last year, the OMCs have the freedom to revise prices in accordance with international crude oil prices. However, the government which holds the majority stake in these firms had informally asked not to revise prices until the state polls. Rising inflation has already been pinching the common man. So, to not intensify the public ire further, the prices have been held back so far.
Bank stocks have opened the day on a weak note with Axis Bank, HDFC Bank and Yes Bank facing selling pressure. Axis Bank has declared its fourth quarter results for the financial year 2010-2011 (4QFY11). The bank has reported 17% YoY growth in net interest income. The growth in net interest income was led by a 36% YoY growth in advances. The growth in deposits for the bank was primarily through term deposits. While Axis Bank's fee income registered a growth of 30% YoY during FY11, the proportion of fee to total income improved from 32% in FY10 to 33% in FY11. Axis Bank's net NPAs as a percentage of advances remained stable at 0.3% with a marginal improvement in the past quarter. Despite lower growth in other income, net profits grew by 33% YoY during the quarter. During FY11, the bank added 278 branches and 1,977 ATMs. It has declared dividend of Rs 14 per share.